By Michelle Capobianco
One of the most rewarding experiences to have come out of this past year is our collaboration with Vista Higher Learning. From our first brainstorming sessions, it was clear that VHL was committed to finding a way to truly connect with instructors in the absence of on-campus visits. The result was a series of cultural cooking demos and workshops built to spark ideas and inspiration for faculty operating in an unfamiliar virtual classroom setting. These programs have included Mardi Gras traditions in France; the nuances of empanadas across Latin American; street food in Spain; Italian holiday cookie customs and more.
During the classes, we found that instructors who attended are eager to share their own methods for engaging online students and that these sessions have served as a sounding board for new language instruction techniques. The VHL team has found a way to show support and empathy to faculty who have had to reinvent the way they teach. The Cooking Lab is grateful to be a part of the forum created by Vista Higher Learning for the exchange of ideas and information related to teaching language and culture in this uncharted virtual world. As a thank you, we wanted to share with you the recipes from the classes.